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New York Rangers Fan Club

 2003-04 New York Rangers Training Camp Coverage << Hockey Alliance  
  Sessions 1 & 2 Saturday
  The Captain was the first player on the ice this morning and drew some applause from the 100 or so fans who had turned up for the 9:00am session.  The Rangers had been split into two groups and wore jerseys that designated their lines for the morning sessions that featured the first group of players, though most of the players switched to the traditional blue and white jerseys for the second session.

Paired with Messier were wingers Dan Lacouture and Matthew Barnaby, while Hlavac, Nedved and Kovalev formed the other probable Ranger starting line.  For the prospects and minor leaguers, a combination of Murray, Moore and Ortmeyer played in black, while Gernander centered Stals and Wirll in the tasteful orange jerseys and Andrews, Cullen and Lawson in green.  On defense we got to see Vladimir Malakhov in the early session, but he did not return for the scrimmage in the second session as he continues to work his way back from off-season shoulder surgery.  He paired with Mironov for much of the early going, while Purinton, Rawlyk, State, Aufiero, Tjutin, Wilson and Nycholat also skated.  Finally in goal were the trio of Markkanen, St Germaine and Labarbera.

The morning started off with skating drills and some puck handling before the focus shifted towards two on one drills, followed by some three man breaks with consecutive fading shots on the goaltenders.  Like yesterday, the players also worked on breakout drills with 5 on 2 scenarios being used as the players carried the puck from one end of the ice to the other.  The second session included a 30 minute scrimmage with the two Ranger lines facing off with each other and the other players split between the two teams.  The morning sessions finished off with some hard skating that had most of the players taking deep breaths before heading off the ice.

Nedved and Hlavac both looked good during the drills, with Nedved seemingly never missing a shot (something he did not continue during the scrimmage) though Kovalev looked as if his timing was a little off.  The Messier line skated fairly well with Lacouture and Barnaby in particular, hustling in the scrimmage...although it is still apparent that "Barnie" has difficulty receiving passes off of the rush.

Of the younger players, the line of Ortmeyer, Moore and Murray showed some jump.  All three players hustled and Moore in particular had a couple of battles along the boards including against Andrews and Cullen, showing an elbow that almost caught Cullen in the face.  Cullen too hustled for his part and looks like he might be able to challenge for a spot in Hartford if he keeps up the hard work.  This was the first time I had had a chance to see Mike Wirll, Juris Stals and Lucas Lawson, with the latter player showing the most poise in the first sessions.  Lawson looks to be another hard working forward, evident by his desire to work hard in front of the net, something that drew attention from a couple of defenseman as he hacked away at the puck.  Stals has size, but doesn't appear yet to be skating at full speed and showed some questionable stick handling...definitely a project at this stage of his career, while Wirll showed some speed, but could well be destined for Charlotte if he signs on.

On defense it was interesting to see State and Rawlyk paired together.  The two tallest players on the ice (along with Wilson), struck impressive poses and State appears to be skating a little better than the times I saw him last season.  Rawlyk still appears raw and may find it difficult to make it into the Wolf Pack line-up.  Mironov and Purinton looked easily a class ahead of their lesser experienced teammates and had fairly quiet mornings for the most part.

The biggest disappointment of the morning perhaps was the uncertain play of Fedor Tjutin who looked uncomfortable in the two on one drills and then appeared to be thinking too much during the scrimmage.  It is hoped that his year in Russia can be overcome with hard work, something he'll need to do plenty of if he hopes to get time in the NHL this season.

In goal, Markkanen looked sharp and Labarbera looked more poised than I've seen him look in the past.  By contrast St Germaine had a rough start, and the smallish goaltender will have his work cut out for him if he hopes to remain in the AHL with the depth that is front of him.

Photos from the morning session can be found here

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September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  STANDINGS
  Team GP W L OT Pts  
  Capitals 46 30 11 5 65  
  Bruins 46 27 8 11 65  
  Penguins 45 28 12 5 61  
  Islanders 43 27 12 4 58  
  Lightning 44 27 13 4 58  
  Maple Leafs 45 24 15 6 54  
  Hurricanes 45 27 16 2 56  
  Flyers 45 23 16 6 52  
  Blue Jackets 46 22 16 8 52  
  Panthers 44 23 16 5 51  
  Sabres 46 20 19 7 47  
  Rangers 44 21 19 4 46  
  Canadiens 46 19 20 7 45  
  Devils 44 16 21 7 39  
  Senators 45 16 22 7 39  
  Red Wings 46 12 31 3 27  
FULL STANDINGS
  RANDOM RANGER

MIKE ROBITAILLE
(1969-1971)
  Born: Feb 12 - 1948  
  Pos: Defense  
  GP: 15  
  G: 1  
  A: 1  
  Pts: 2  
  PIMs: 15  

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